What is land surveying?
Land surveying is a crucial step in beginning the construction process. Land surveyors will accurately measure and mark out the primary property boundaries on your site, and produce preliminary markers to set out where your new home will be situated on the property.
This investigation will ensure that your property borders are accurate, and that your house is built exactly where it's supposed to go. Getting these measurements right is vital if you want to avoid building or legal problems after construction begins.
What do land surveyors do?
As part of the survey the land surveyor will create a report on relevant topographical information for the site. Surveyors use an instrument called a ‘theodolite’, which is used to measure horizontal and vertical planes on a piece of land to a high degree of accuracy.
Setting out the dwelling/site staking
After consultation with the land surveyor, your builder will begin the process of ‘setting out’ the property (also known as ‘site staking’). This entails marking out all the boundaries of the house from the preliminary points created by the land surveyor. Any other areas (such as easements) will also be marked out. This is done to make sure what's being built complies perfectly with your original building plan.
This process will sometimes be completed by the land surveyor, however this scenario is more common on commercial projects. In order to ‘set out’ the site builders will run string or ropes between corner stakes on the site to create an outline of where the building will go.
- To help prevent confusion, it's worth explaining here that there is a big difference between a 'land surveyor', a 'building surveyor' and a 'quantity surveyor'. The land surveyor takes care of assessing the spatial layout of the site, as described above. Building surveyors deal with legal issues and permits surrounding planning and construction, and quantity surveyors are responsible for keeping an inventory of costs and materials used for construction.